Sickness and Signs {{Day 25}}


//I was a sophomore in High School when my body started revolting against me in very physical ways.

I was enjoying my time in school, growing comfortable with new friends, my classes and my ‘teenage’ routine. Mid year, I began experiencing very intense stomach pains. At first, I thought I just had a bug or a flu. But after a few weeks, I knew it had to be more. I’d be in the middle of class, hanging out with friends, or driving and I would be overcome with nausea and have to leave. Months went by, and there were no answers to why this was happening.

Everything I ate made my stomach hurt. Eventually, I dropped 11 pounds because I had no appetite and feared I would just feel miserable if I ate. This constant pain started taking a toll on me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As months went by, I started developing anxiety any time my stomach would hurt. Sheer panic would come over me. Shaky hands, clammy body, shallow breathing and a racing pulse would send me bolting from wherever I was at so I could escape to a place and calm down. //

I didn’t hang out with my friends much. I felt like no one understood. I felt weak, drained, isolated and defeated. Ever more so,  I felt like God wasn’t near me. Fear was my closest companion, and I couldn’t escape it no matter how hard I tried. I hated going back to the doctor over and over, running tests that made me want to gag, yet still receiving the same answers: “We don’t know.” I wrestled so much with feeling God’s presence in the middle of a season where I was fearful all of the time.

One evening, I had a heart to heart with one of my mentors who encouraged me to do something that honestly was a little weird to me. She asked me to think of a symbol, a sign if you will, that made me think of God’s love. I thought about it. There it was.

A butterfly.

After I told her my “sign”, she said that whenever I saw a butterfly to remember that God was with me and that He loved me. I was a little skeptical. But she told me, “Just watch. It’ll blow your mind.”

Days later I could not believe it. In the middle of winter, butterflies were showing up everywhere.

I felt sick one morning and couldn’t make it to school on time. I was walking from my car into the building, late, on the brink of tears feeling so defeated. All of the sudden, a group of 4-5 butterflies surrounded me and flew with me all the way to the front doors of the school.

“I’m with you.”

Another day, I had to get a nasty stomach test done and I was petrified. Sitting in the x-ray office alone, I was overcome with peace when the nurse walked out, her scrubs covered in butterflies.

“I’m with you here, too.”

There were other days I would be sitting outside, spending time with God, and butterflies would simply be wandering around the backyard and I would remember, “He’s with me. He’s not going to leave.”

A simple thing like “picking a sign” gave me a glimmer of hope in a very dark time in my life.

Do you have a sign? If you don’t, what will yours be?


This post is Day 25 of Five Minute Free Writes for the Write 31 Days Challenge.





  1. realtalk859

    It’s amazing how God will demonstrate his love to use through signs and wonders. I’m so thankful that he gave you butterflies.

    25 . Oct . 2016
    • Kaitlin Garrison

      Yes! It is so sweet the ways He shows us He’s here.

      25 . Oct . 2016

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